West Indies and Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Sunil Narine hopes to draw from the experience of playing in the Indian Premier League to help Trinidad and Tobago succeed in the Champions League T20 there.
Narine impressed in his maiden Indian Premier League season in 2012, picking up 24 wickets and finishing one behind the leading wicket-taker Morne Morkel, when Knight Riders won their only title. His consistency continued in the next season as he took 22 wickets.
“Having played in India and learning a lot with Kolkata, I think I can use the Indian conditions to my best ability,” Narine said. “Playing in the IPL is a plus I have and having won the T20 crown with West Indies last year, I think I’m equipped for this challenge.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s first match is in Ranchi on Sunday, which Narine believes to be advantageous. Ranchi was Kolkata’s second home venue in the IPL last year and the spinner has fond memories of the JSCA ground, having claimed a four-wicket haul against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Brian Lara, who is an adviser with T&T, said he feels they could replicate their heroics from the inaugural Champions League in 2009, when they made the final.
“We have a great chance,” Lara said. “It’s a young team but there is experience in Denesh Ramdin and Sunil Narine, as well as Ravi Rampaul, so I can see us making the final four. T20 is our kind of game and we’ve shown this as a country, but also as a region.”
T&T won all their matches in the Caribbean T20 tournament, barring the opening game which was rained out, and beat Guyana by nine-wickets in the final, qualifying for the CLT20 directly for the first time this year.